Massive thanks to all who got involved in my recent plea to find red explorer socks. The response was truly overwhelming, and I was amazed that so many of you would take time out to go hunting for socks on my behalf.

Bizarrely, it seems that the shortage of these items is a global issue – this surprises me, as this type of sock was de rigeur in scouting circles in Australia, and for as long as I've been wearing the things I can swear honestly that I've not been alone in doing so. But alas, I received several reports saying nobody was stocking them (if you'll pardon the expression), and suppliers weren't able to provide them!

Luckily for me, eBay came to the rescue – after much concerned searching, I've been able to secure 6 pairs. Hopefully this should tide me over for the next little while, and in the meantime I can only hope that all of the enquiries you've been making somehow filter back to sock manufacturers all over the world and they ramp up their production accordingly, restoring us to the correct situation again where large-footed folk can purchase red woollen socks freely & at will.